How to fix a recliner that leans to one side

Living Room

Recliners were made primarily for comfort and relaxation, to just lie back and let the cushions absorb all your stress after a long, hard day at work. However, this isn’t so much the case if your recliner leans ever so uncomfortably to one side - a constant cause of invariable frustrations and back pains, something some people are willing to put up with all because they don’t know how to fix a recliner that leans to one side, ever so slightly.

How to fix a recliner that leans to one side


The causes of this age old symptom are quite simple. Your best recliner has gotten old, lacked regular maintenance or was just used a little too roughly. However, with a few basic tools and knowledge of how to tighten bolts, nuts, and screws, you can have your broken recliner back in shape in absolutely no time.

The most likely causes

  • Reclining mechanism leaning to one side - if the mechanism is leaning to one side, the chair will follow.
  • Uneven padding - This is more of a cosmetic issue, rather than structural.
  • Chair frame constructed out of square - This is pure as a result of poor engineering and will bring you problems right from the start.
  • Leaning frame - on older chairs, the wooden frames loosens up over time and develops a lean or otherwise, creaking noises.
  • Uneven floor - if you move the chair to several different locations within the same room and the chair remains leaning on some spots but not others, the floor is uneven.

How to fix the recliner

Nine out of ten times, the problem lies within the mechanism of the recliner itself, and you may have to get some new recliner parts in order to fix your recliner. Even if you end up confused along the way, that’s normal, and the process should be overall pretty simple to follow. Regardless of the cause, however, the method of the fixture is the same.

Things you will need

  • A screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • A pry bar

Step-by-step instructions

  • Flip the recliner over so that it lies on its front, and investigate the underside. Most of the times, it’s a simple case of worn out springs that need replacement or repositioning.
  • Find out if all the springs are still there, and if so, they should all have their elasticity; they should be stretched out about the same amount.
  • Depending on your recliner, the springs could either stretch from one end and into a hook on the other end or screw into wood or mount onto a metal frame. Check if these springs are loose.
  • If they mount into the wood, you need to figure out if the screw holes are too big. If they are, you will have to add some wood glue and some wood to make the holes smaller. You can either use toothpicks or skewers if you like.
  • If the wood is really damaged, you might be able to repair it with relative ease using a metal bracing.
  • If the springs mount onto metal instead of wood, you need to find out what kind of attachments it has and tighten them up. Other times, this mounting plate needs to be replaced. If so, unscrew it and order a new part to fix your broken recliner.
  • Your recliner should be as good as new.

Recliners that mount onto a metal hook

For this type of recliner, two metal rods on opposite ends of the recliner are held in place using tight springs. These springs are naturally designed to be stiff and you may need a pry bar or a similar tool to get them back in place.

  • Flip the recliner over so that it lies on its front. Alternatively, remove the foam cushion from its top and investigate the mechanism of the recliner.
  • Locate the pull chord and a do a little bit of investigative work - get a good look at how the pull cord mechanism works, and what it attaches to.
  • Find out if any of the springs are loose or detached.
  • Use the pry bar to stretch the spring and guide it with your hand to the end of the hook.
  • This should normally work, and your broken recliner should be as good as new.
  • If your recliner ends up being a little more stiff or more uncomfortable than it usually is, then you can grab some replacement springs off Amazon and repeat the process.


The above steps should have helped you figure out how to fix a recliner that leans to one side. Most other recliner problems can be fixed in much the same way - a little tinkering and getting your hands dirty.

If you are still having difficulties or can’t figure out how the whole system comes together and works, call a repair guy. Either way, your good recliner should remain

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